Windows 10 enjoys your sweet, delicious data
July 31, 2015 10:01 AM   Subscribe

Do you own one of the 14 million computers already running Windows 10? If so, it might be a good time to review your privacy settings.

Trying to decide whether to upgrade? Here's a comprehensive review.
posted by selfnoise (154 comments total) 39 users marked this as a favorite
 
So what happened with Windows 9?
posted by sammyo at 10:11 AM on July 31, 2015


Windows 7 ate 9.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:12 AM on July 31, 2015 [141 favorites]


A small app shall be released that binds all privacy settings and that app shall find its way to every power user's toolkit. So it has been said, so it shall be done.
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:16 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


So what happened with Windows 9?

Skipped because there's too much software still out there in which lazy programmers version check what Windows it runs under by looking for "Windows 9" rather than e.g. "Windows 95".
posted by MartinWisse at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2015 [12 favorites]


There's a semi-apocryphal story going around that it's because of the way windows 9x (95, 98, 98SE) were identified in older software code.

I went ahead and did the upgrade Wednesday night and despite thinking "what, why the fuck am I doing this?!" as soon as I clicked the go-ahead button I have had zero issues so far. Computer still runs Rocket League, which is all I really care about. (in life)
posted by selfnoise at 10:17 AM on July 31, 2015 [15 favorites]


I think this highlights how "My computer knows everything about me!" in a positive context means it's super-helpful--reminds you you're low on milk, notes your friends birthdays, remembers where you're parked, tells you how long it will take you to get home, knows which upcoming movies you'll want to check out, and so on...

...While "My computer knows everything about me!" in a negative context means exactly those same things, just with the implied specter of that information being used nefariously.

With great power, great responsibility...but not necessarily to those acting responsibly.
posted by Phyltre at 10:18 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Trying to decide whether to upgrade?

That's simple.

Are you a hardcore OS nerd who thrives on new flavours of OS shit?

You're already running Win 10.

Anybody else?

Don't bother and wait until either a) your next pc or b) a year or so for the worst crap to sort itself out.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:22 AM on July 31, 2015 [11 favorites]




There's a semi-apocryphal story going around that it's because of the way windows 9x (95, 98, 98SE) were identified in older software code.

Wow, that's some forward-looking code right there.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:23 AM on July 31, 2015


We should all just run Windows 93.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:24 AM on July 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


And itll cost you $200 for the pro version, which is the only one that includes Bitlocker.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:26 AM on July 31, 2015


God, I just... Guys, I really need to get away from Windows 8.1. If... if I give them all my data, do you think they'll let me do that?

That would be so wonderful. Really, life with Windows is great! On tuesdays they let us use a regular start menu for 30 minutes in between work shifts. And they don't even need to do that, so that's how you know they love us.
posted by shmegegge at 10:27 AM on July 31, 2015 [16 favorites]


I tried to run the upgrade from 8.1 this morning but just got some obscure numeric error code. I probably shouldn't have been surprised by that.
posted by octothorpe at 10:28 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


And, if that's not bad enough, Windows Solitaire has ads in it now. And it'll cost you $10/year to remove them.

Wtf it's a subscription? For a game that could would basically be a final project for a high school programming student?
posted by zachlipton at 10:28 AM on July 31, 2015 [23 favorites]


zachlipton Meet the new Microsoft, same as the old Microsoft. Only with slightlyh better design sense.
posted by SansPoint at 10:30 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Pretty much every non-Linux device is doing this already. Google tracks everything I do on my Android phone and I assume Apple does the same on my iPad. So far it has only been to my benefit and convenience, and if not, I can figure out how to turn them off.
But Microsoft always seems to be viewed through a different lens, I guess.
posted by rocket88 at 10:37 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]




I ran the upgrade from Win 7 last night. I got a numerical error code like zachlipton did (mine was 80240020), found a workaround by googling some web-fori, had to repeat the fix 3-4 times, but it finally stuck and the updater did its things for about an hour, and after a morning spent configuring a bunch of stuff, here I am.

It was almost as easy as installing Ubuntu.
posted by notyou at 10:38 AM on July 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


I already did these changes as a matter of course, thinking of the tabletization of the OS. Great improvement over what came before.
posted by juiceCake at 10:39 AM on July 31, 2015


As I understood it, the Windows 9x problem arose mostly from third-party Java developers. It's trivial to query the operating system version number when you're working with the system APIs.

As to this uproar about Windows 10 and privacy, the number of people I see posting about it from Macs, Android devices and iPhones reminds me of the types of people who are paranoid about Facebook or the government tracking you, all the while racking up charges on credit and debit cards without a second thought. There are things computers do now that you probably like which likely require more information. They make this really clear, and it's not hard to opt out of if you decide to.

I was actually surprised to see reasoned responses to this non-story on Hacker News and on Reddit.

I got Windows 10 running on a Dell laptop from 2006 that had Windows XP on it when I bought it. It's not my daily driver, but I keep it around because I have a hard time getting rid of things that still work well. I had upgraded it to Windows 8 when that preview came out, just to see, and it ran okay. Eventually the preview expired, and it was only allowed to run for two hours at a time - which I found out a couple of weeks ago, was plenty of time to install the Windows 10 preview, which rolled over into the full Windows 10 this week. It actually runs really well, except that the hard drive is a bottleneck. I'm curious how it would perform with an SSD, but not curious enough to throw one in there.

That laptop was a $600 refurbished model from the Dell Outlet, so it the specs were already a year and a half old when I got it. It's got 2gb of RAM. I was pretty impressed.

When I installed the preview on that laptop and on my main laptop, it was super smooth, but when my desktop updated from 8.1 to the Win 10 release, it initially seized up at 58%, and I had to restart the process, which took much, much longer than it did for my laptops.

So, yeah. I'm one of those people MartinWisse warned you about.
posted by Leviathant at 10:41 AM on July 31, 2015 [11 favorites]


But Microsoft always seems to be viewed through a different lens, I guess.

Desktop OSes are viewed through a different lens, because they didn't used to do that (not that handheld device OSes should to such a degree either).

If Apple's been introducing the same thing in OSX, and no one's been complaining, then you have a fair point.
posted by iotic at 10:42 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Pretty much every non-Linux device is doing this already.

It's also noticeable that Ubuntu, frex, sure does phone home a lot these days.
posted by brennen at 10:43 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Here's a quick rundown for those looking to fresh install Windows 10 with an 7 or 8(.1) key (Imgur, with possibly insightful comments - I haven't tried it myself).
posted by filthy light thief at 10:43 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


> Don't bother and wait until either a) your next pc or b) a year or so for the worst crap to sort itself out.

c) Windows 7 goes end of life and Microsoft stops pushing out updates for it.
posted by Gev at 10:45 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oops. I meant like octothorpe did. Sorry zachlipton.
posted by notyou at 10:46 AM on July 31, 2015


it's super-helpful--reminds you you're low on milk, notes your friends birthdays, remembers where you're parked, tells you how long it will take you to get home, knows which upcoming movies you'll want to check out, and so on...

Your computer is already weary of doing all the emotional labor, and might ditch you for a mature adult if you don't adjust those settings.
posted by Devils Rancher at 10:47 AM on July 31, 2015 [33 favorites]


I upgraded my laptop and my father's desktop two days ago. Went off without a hitch (I was careful to remove Classic Start, the Start menu replacement we'd been using under Win8, beforehand.) Took a couple of hours but beyond that went well.

Privacy concerns are always important, and I hate that Microsoft is looking to reduce their bandwidth bills with on-by-default peer-to-peer update distribution.

But it is nice having a real Start Menu again, and this version finally backseats Internet Explorer in favor of a new browser, Edge, which actually seems to be decent.

Note, Windows Solitaire Collection started under Windows 8, and was offering ads back then too, I even wrote a comment remarking on this fact back then (which I cannot find right now, since I'm writing this on iOS and the time and energy overhead required to hunt it up is outside my annoyance tolerance right now -- every OS sucks at something).

For the record, I think the biggest problem with Win10 is that their much hyped "Cortana" search assistant (which is so obviously trading off of the Halo games but Microsoft has said not a word about a connection) will only search the web using Bing. I tried using Bing for a while a few months ago, and it is still seriously second-tier compared to Google.
posted by JHarris at 10:54 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Don't bother and wait until either a) your next pc or b) a year or so for the worst crap to sort itself out.

ALWAYS WAIT FOR SERVICE PACK 1
posted by Greg_Ace at 10:57 AM on July 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


I'd like to thank those 14 million users for beta testing Windows 10 for me. See you after the first or second service pack!
posted by doctorfrog at 10:57 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Remember, folks: You can't complain about something unless you're literally Jesus resurrected.

I'm not sure why you quoted me, because that's not at all what I'm implying. I complain all the time, it's great. I don't think my point was that you can't complain, I think what I was getting at is that people using Facebook on iOS via AT&T auto-paid on their VISA to complain about privacy concerns regarding Windows 10 are buying into a selective narrative.
posted by Leviathant at 11:01 AM on July 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


If you wait a year, there's a very good chance it's not going to be a free upgrade anymore.

Maybe wait slightly less than a year.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:08 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


By the time SP1 comes out, it is unlikely that the OS will still be ad-supported.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 11:13 AM on July 31, 2015


If you wait a year, there's a very good chance it's not going to be a free upgrade anymore.

Maybe wait slightly less than a year.


This seems unlikely, since MS wants very much to A) avoid reasons to not upgrade and B) OS X has switched to free upgrades. Upgrades have never been nearly as big as fresh-install licenses, so MS can afford to give ground there while maintaining its primary income streams and minimizing the number of older OS installs out in the wild.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:16 AM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Remember, folks: You can't complain about something unless you're literally Jesus resurrected.

Listen if you think I'm blowing my cover to complain about an operating system you're quite mistaken.
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on July 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


oh fuck MODS HELP
posted by griphus at 11:17 AM on July 31, 2015 [14 favorites]


Metafilter: Faster, Flatter, Free.
posted by blue_beetle at 11:18 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


And, if that's not bad enough, Windows Solitaire has ads in it now. And it'll cost you $10/year to remove them.

Try pysol (grumble, sourceforge download) for your solitaire needs. Free and many (many!) games to try varying from favorites (freecell, spider...) to the marvelously obscure.
posted by Death and Gravity at 11:20 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


So what happened with Windows 9?

Microsoft answered this when they announced Windows 10: "It wouldn't be right to call it Windows 9."

[long, slow golf clap for whichever marketing drone came up with that deliciously brazen non-explanation]

I'm just surprised they didn't call it Windows One.
posted by straight at 11:26 AM on July 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


This seems unlikely

Microsoft has been announcing this all along as a limited-time offer, and I'm not saying they're definitely not going to change their minds about that, but I certainly wouldn't count on it, either.

From the FAQ:
What are the basic facts of the free Windows 10 upgrade?

Microsoft is making Windows 10 available as a free upgrade for qualified and genuine Windows 7 and Windows 8/8.1 devices. The free upgrade for select Windows Phone 8.1 devices will start to be available later this year.

If you have reserved, we’ll notify you when your upgrade is ready. You have until July 29, 2016 to take advantage of this free upgrade offer. Once you upgrade, you’ll have Windows 10 for free on that device.
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 11:31 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]




Your computer is already weary of doing all the emotional labor, and might ditch you for a mature adult if you don't adjust those settings.

"Really, Cortana, you don't need to remind me about all my friends' birthdays, you can just stand there looking hot in that blue bikini."
posted by straight at 11:35 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


There are concerns I have, but not enough to prevent me to upgrade. I didn't wait, I found the link and did the install. It was kinda fucked up in terms of graphics drivers, but it finally rebooted and worked right.

It's alright, not the second coming. I wish I could have the Cortana search bar on the small toolbar, not the mini icon for it...

I'm actually concerned about Mozilla hyping their "MS IS REPLACING DEFAULTS" because... Well, I guess I am a seasoned user so perhaps for *me* I didn't notice it and for a mom/pop doing this it might be an issue... But honestly?

I could do without the FUD. It was super easy to make sure I had the default set to FF. It seemed to, IIRC, give me warnings that if you put Cortana on, it will be running the mic, etc...

I'm not saying there aren't concerns, but it's like the non-MS people are now the FUDders and that's really disappointing.

We can have rational discourse about these issues without alarmism, but I guess alarmism is what sells.

I do have mixed thoughts on forcing updates without the choice to install - even Android lets me install when I'm ready. (Note: I have pro, so it's not an issue so much for me, but for home users).

It's still not quite where I would like - I want titlebars to be allowed to match the color of the system. Right now it's just 'white' which is bullshit. Especially when you have a title bar that doesn't have a clear definition against the menu area, and you can't just drag the menu area to move, you need to drag on the title bar, so if you don't hit it in the right spot, it won't move... it's annoying...

But apart from that, and the graphics card fuckup on the install, so far it's been alright.

If you're really concerned, then just use Linux or BSD or whatever. The permanent rolling upgrades to the latest and greatest is worrisome - surely they're going to need to charge for some full version upgrades, no?
posted by symbioid at 11:40 AM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


My biggest annoyance about 10? UI inconsistency.

Jesus fuck just pick a design language and stick to it.
posted by Talez at 11:42 AM on July 31, 2015 [23 favorites]


Pretty much every non-Linux device is doing this already. Google tracks everything I do on my Android phone…
And since Android devices are Linux devices (as are lots of other consumer products), arguably most Linux devices are tracking you too.
posted by ArmandoAkimbo at 11:46 AM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


This seems unlikely, since MS wants very much to A) avoid reasons to not upgrade and B) OS X has switched to free upgrades. Upgrades have never been nearly as big as fresh-install licenses, so MS can afford to give ground there while maintaining its primary income streams and minimizing the number of older OS installs out in the wild.

This pretty much. The OEM will still pay the Windows tax. You'll get upgrades for the life of the machine. Build your own machine? Either pay more now for retail or you're on the hook for a system builder licence for every motherboard upgrade.

They're barely giving away any of their revenue stream and they'll be able to do things like WDDM 2.0 and DX12 without wondering how they're going to backport them. The answer will be "get the latest Windows, dummy".
posted by Talez at 11:48 AM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Solitaire is still exactly the same as it was in Windows 8, except they added an ad-supported Challenge feature that no one is forcing you to play. You get a 30-second spot between challenges that you can pay to turn off. [My daughter loves it, in spite of the insipid and tasteless ads they're showing her.] Someone put it well on reddit: This is like a shop that gives away free stuff suddenly start selling other stuffs while still giving away old free stuffs and people are now gathering with pitchforks.
posted by simra at 11:51 AM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Still on Windows 3.1 and IE2. Still the king of the minesweepers. I'm actually writing a musical based on minesweeper - it's called "Minesweeper: the Musical" and it will sweep your fucking MIND.
posted by the quidnunc kid at 11:56 AM on July 31, 2015 [26 favorites]


The new UI seems like will be pretty slick, except that they only seem to have implemented it in the new stuff and all the old UI stuff is still floating around. I've enjoyed it for the last few months and if you have problems with it today, you should see the state it was in two months ago (no nVidia drivers, didn't recognize my wifi card, etc). All in all I've been happy with it.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 11:57 AM on July 31, 2015


I want titlebars to be allowed to match the color of the system. Right now it's just 'white' which is bullshit.

What a strange oversight that is. Anyway, here's the workaround: Kludgey Way to Add Color to Title Bars.

It works, but you'll have to reset your desktop background afterward.
posted by notyou at 12:02 PM on July 31, 2015


The new UI seems like will be pretty slick, except that they only seem to have implemented it in the new stuff and all the old UI stuff is still floating around.

It's the same problem Windows 8 had: the UI looks different depending on how you get there. So for example any given settings screen has a "desktop" look and a "metro" look to use two inaccurate but convenient terms, and sometimes you'll get one and sometimes the other.

It's pretty terrible!

And of course there's the fucking weird "let's put the Windows Media Player in again we haven't updated since Vista, but then let's include a halfassed thing called Groove which surely will go the way of the Zune Player software" thing.

Other than the fact that I find stuff like the above fairly embarrassing I haven't had many issues. I do need to figure out why my screen isn't turning off as per the power profile I have on.
posted by selfnoise at 12:06 PM on July 31, 2015


Just found out there is already a musical based on minesweeper.

What about SkiFree? What do you guys think?
posted by the quidnunc kid at 12:14 PM on July 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I upgraded on the 29th because I am a "Windows Insider". As far as I can tell the user experience is the same as with 8. Which is to say I can find a lot of things to complain about but then I can find a lot of things to complain about with everything. I remain stunned by what computers can do these days, given I started with an Apple II+ in the 1980s and now here we are. This is my go-to text: Louis CK, Everything's Amazing and Nobody's Happy
posted by chavenet at 12:17 PM on July 31, 2015 [8 favorites]


I installed it on my laptop (a Surface Pro 3) when it came out and I am noticing small bits of lag here and there which really shouldn't be happening. Hopefully it'll sort itself out before too long. It's also installed on an older laptop that I only use for my photos but I haven't had a chance to use it yet. If it sucks there then I may just put linux on it.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 12:32 PM on July 31, 2015


What a strange oversight that is. Anyway, here's the workaround: Kludgey Way to Add Color to Title Bars. -- posted by notyou at 2:02 PM

Yeah, I saw that when trying to find out if I can fix it... I'd be ok with it, if it actually did the "autoset the color" trick, but since it seems to be only "pick a single color and stick with it" (apart from the kludginess) that's kind of a mark against it.

I mean, I suppose I could just pick a color for everything and be done -- but what if I want to pick a different color - do I have to mockup a new style again or will this work and allow me to switch colors as much as I want?

Also - I was reading that they only give a small palette of color swatches and don't have a color picker for selecting UI colors anymore? WTF is up with that?

Anyways, I hope someone who is reading this and decides to install can report back on the upgrade process and let us know how open/onerous the process for setting default browser/privacy options are -- analyze it from a noob perspective, if possible.
posted by symbioid at 12:43 PM on July 31, 2015


Something is definitely weird in the RTM builds in reference to graphics acceleration. My experience was almost perfectly smooth until the RTM build, at which point I've started getting weird delays/hangy page loads. Nothing show-stopping, nothing seems to actually crash or error out, but there are little hesitations.

Frankly, given how quickly the feature list changed in the last two months of development, I think some level of weirdness was unavoidable. The "feature-complete" stage never seemed to really happen, they changed stuff right up until the end.
posted by Phyltre at 12:45 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Ah, maybe one of you can answer this probably stupid question.

I'm still waiting for MS to push this upgrade to my machine, and I'm considering just downloading the upgrade tool and doing it myself. Where it asks for a license key, do I just provide the one for my currently installed version of Win7 Ultimate?
posted by echocollate at 12:52 PM on July 31, 2015


It automatically detects it for you. I didn't have to enter anything.
posted by symbioid at 12:54 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Sweet, thank you sir.
posted by echocollate at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Ah, maybe one of you can answer this probably stupid question.

I'm still waiting for MS to push this upgrade to my machine, and I'm considering just downloading the upgrade tool and doing it myself. Where it asks for a license key, do I just provide the one for my currently installed version of Win7 Ultimate?


If you do an in-place upgrade it will handle it for you.

If you want to do a clean install click here.
posted by selfnoise at 12:55 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh - thank you - selfnoise, I should have thought about that aspect. EEP!
posted by symbioid at 1:02 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


shmegegge: “God, I just... Guys, I really need to get away from Windows 8.1. If... if I give them all my data, do you think they'll let me do that? ”
It's relatively straightforward to opt out of all the creepy stuff. I did it last night right after I upgraded. The one thing I'm a little bummed about is I was kind of looking forward to messing with Cortana, but here's how that went when it first fired up.
"Hey for Cortana to even start, you'll have to let Microsoft crawl up your computer's ass and send everything including how you type and your mousing style to Redmond. That cool?"

"Yeah, no. I'm not gonna do that."
*clicks "No thanks."*

“Windows 10 Is Spying On You: Here’s How To Stop It,” Alec Meer, Rock, Paper, Shotgun, 30 July 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 1:10 PM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Frankly, given how quickly the feature list changed in the last two months of development, I think some level of weirdness was unavoidable. The "feature-complete" stage never seemed to really happen, they changed stuff right up until the end.

Yeah. Like I pulled an insider build a couple of months ago and it was buggy and crashy as shit on a fresh install. My first thought when they said "July 29th" was "what? you sure? like proper RTM release not first RC?".
posted by Talez at 1:12 PM on July 31, 2015


I bought a Windows 8.1 Pro key and installation disc through Microsoft's education store about three months ago. I can't seem to get that Upgrade icon in the lower-right corner of the screen, even with all the Windows updates and registry key hacks applied.

Does anyone know if education licenses are one of the versions that won't qualify for the free upgrade? Or if running it in its own Boot Camp space on Apple hardware would disqualify it?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 1:12 PM on July 31, 2015


But Microsoft always seems to be viewed through a different lens, I guess.

Is it a HoloLens? I bet it's a HoloLens.
posted by The Bellman at 1:27 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


My first thought when they said "July 29th" was "what? you sure? like proper RTM release not first RC?".

Yeah, I was a bit surprised too. I think Windows 7 was in lockdown for more than a few months before it was "done".

Thankfully, the Windows10 "release" version resolves the biggest problem I had with the previews: either one or two of my three monitors would randomly just stop working and the only fix was to reinstall some nVidia drivers.

Disclosure: I work at Microsoft but not on Windows.
posted by Slothrup at 1:33 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I upgraded one laptop to Windows 10 to see what it's like, and am no longer planning to upgrade the other one. All of the major new features are either useless to me or downright harmful:
  • Start menu: It's not as good as the Windows 7−style menu that programs like StartIsBack and Start8 emulate.
  • Cortana: I just want a search bar that looks through my local files, I don't need to send spoken queries to Microsoft.
  • Edge browser: Firefox and Chrome are better. (Vivaldi is also a promising alternative.)
  • Tablet and phone features: Useless for laptops and desktops.
  • Windowed Modern apps: I already have ModernMix to do this, although there are barely any Modern apps worth using anyway. (Although Windows 10 replaces some desktop programs like Calculator with apps...)
  • Command line supports Ctrl+C/V/X: A minor tweak that's irrelevant to Powershell and Cygwin.
  • Notifications: That's nice, I guess.
  • Multiple desktops: This is useful. Not worth upgrading the whole OS for, though, and I'm sure there's a third-party alternative.
  • DirectX 12: It's not even out yet, and only relevant for serious gamers. (For general-purpose graphics programming, I use OpenGL.)
Weigh this against all the configuring and disabling you have to do to get Windows 10 to work properly. Turn off all the privacy-invading features, uninstall the Bing apps, make desktop programs be the defaults instead of pared-down Modern apps, copy the old games from Windows 7, lots of small tweaks (like turning on file extensions in Explorer, and fixing the taskbar to show window titles)... Upgrading involves hours of work for the sake of a higher version number.

God, I just... Guys, I really need to get away from Windows 8.1. If... if I give them all my data, do you think they'll let me do that?

If you think 8 is worse than 7, don't upgrade to 10, go back to 7. 10 makes even more of the kind of changes that 8 did—encouraging you to use a Microsoft cloud account and optimizing the interface for tablets and phones—and its attempt to bring back the Start menu isn't as good as the existing ways people made to have one in 8.
posted by Rangi at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I assume Apple does the same on my iPad

Apple tries its best to balance functionality and privacy. All the Siri stuff is via a randomly generated identifier that can be reset by disabling and enabling Siri so even if they could get the identifier from Apple there's a trivial way to disassociate the ID from the physical hardware. The other thing is when its doing suggestions it refreshes the randomly generated ID every 15 minutes. Maps refreshes its ID every time you open the app. So not only do they make it anonymous, they also make it near impossible to create a long term profile with the details. You can also turn off the Ad Tracking unique identifier in the OS itself.

Apple also make stuff end to end encrypted in transit and tying as much stuff as possible to the device key (which Apple doesn't know) and A7/A8 security enclave to stop law enforcement from tapping Apple to help them spy on users.

I don't know how much Google is doing with Android but I sure as hell know they're doing an astounding job compared to every other major company in the industry by the looks of things.
posted by Talez at 1:44 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


If you haven't gotten the green light by the tray applet to install Windows 10 yet, or for some reason you aren't getting it, and you don't want to wait....

You can upgrade immediately using the upgrade tools available for download from Microsoft here.
posted by JHarris at 2:26 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


(I wonder why they aren't using the Windows Store for distribution this time? It seemed to work pretty well for them for 8.1.)
posted by JHarris at 2:27 PM on July 31, 2015


(I wonder why they aren't using the Windows Store for distribution this time? It seemed to work pretty well for them for 8.1.)

The two reasons I can think of offhand:
* The Windows 7 upgrading to 10 market is far bigger than 8.1 going to 10
* Windows Update can use BITS to prestage the rollout at Microsoft's discretion minimizing the hammering their infrastructure gets come release day
posted by Talez at 2:41 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


So I'm one of those OS nerds - Mostly because I need to test compatibility. Full discosure - I really like OSX. However, I don't have the hate for Windows that most others do - I actually want to like it, as a general rule. I've worked extensively with the "enterprise" features, and generally like them as well - There's nothing else quite as good in the space as Active Directory and Group Policies, something no other OS seems to implement anywhere near as well. If you need that, then it's pretty much going to be windows... Anyways, I digress.

One really bizarre note is how the Edge browser identifies itself:
Mozilla/5.0 (Windows NT 10.0; Win64; x64) AppleWebKit/537.36 (KHTML, like Gecko) Chrome/42.0.2311.135 Safari/537.36 Edge/12.x
So, basically, it's every browser rolled into one. I can already see the headaches this may cause down the road.

Outside of that -- I'm really not impressed. I thought the only real issue with 8 was the start menu, and classic shell addresses that quite nicely. And I'm not a stranger to new things - I like shiny and new ways of doing things, and I encourage new designs! But I don't really see what it adds that is of any value whatsoever - at least not yet - and it's not consistent in any way. I know I felt the same way about 8 at first - Well, I feel that way about 10 compared to 8, so that's really saying something.

The things that drive me nuts

- Christ, give me one place to disable all the cloud options, or at least make some of this stuff opt-in (skydrive, i'm looking at you - Small gripe, but it stands out.) It's also horrendously cluttered by default.

I know that it's not unusual that they want to sell their own software, but they are really obtrusive and obnoxious about it.

It masquerades as a clean interface at first, until you actually try to do something - and they still hide so many of the things that would be immediately useful.

mspaint and wordpad have been updated, though, so i guess that's nice?
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:45 PM on July 31, 2015 [5 favorites]


Well, I upgraded my laptop (from Win 7) and now the fan runs constantly even when I'm only running chrome. Plus some of the system text is blurry (shown here next to this thread for comparison), whether or not Clear Type is turned on.
posted by desjardins at 2:46 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


JHarris, they're probably not using the Windows store for distribution because Windows 7 users can't get to it.

I have a Surface Pro 3 (i5, 4GB RAM, 128GB HD) and was in the preview program. I probably installed 10 and went back to 8.1 four or five times. It just wasn't quite there for me. The tablet experience was bad on early builds, the OS was slow or crashy on later ones. About a month ago I did a final upgrade, to 10132 I think, and let the updates come to me. It has worked marvelously since then.

I also have a Lenovo Ideapad Y480 (i7, 8GB RAM). It was my daily driver before the Surface. A decent laptop at a decent price, though I quickly became spoiled by the Surface's display. Worked well with Windows 8.1 and Classic Shell. I use it for burning and ripping CDs and such, and it holds a lot of backup data, so I have it out now and then, and the last couple of weeks I have just been champing at the bit to be able to install Win10 on there. I didn't hate Win8.x like a lot of people did (though I didn't especially love it, either). It's nice to have the OS on both machines.

(I have run Linux on that machine. It didn't get on well with that dual Nvidia/Intel Graphics monster soldered to the motherboard. Windows knows how to do, Linux requires hoop-jumping.)

I was happy to read this privacy article, and happier that I've been making all these choices from the first time I installed Win10. I also think it's smart to distribute downloads of the OS, but it needs to be an opt-in, not a hidden opt-out. Nice that you can limit it to just people on your local network.
posted by lhauser at 2:52 PM on July 31, 2015


Also - I was reading that they only give a small palette of color swatches and don't have a color picker for selecting UI colors anymore?

It's even kludgier than the color-adding method notyou posted above, but once you've done that, you can get to the color picker by running the following (I'd paste it--it'd be a pain in the ass to retype):

rundll32.exe shell32.dll,Control_RunDLL desk.cpl,Advanced,@Advanced

(Caveat: I actually used this method to get my colors back, so I know the color picker works for me, but your mileage may vary.)
posted by Mr. Bad Example at 2:53 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Oh yes - the type, I had to readjust cleartype, and I'm still not certain it's as good as it was :\
posted by symbioid at 2:54 PM on July 31, 2015


You can upgrade immediately using the upgrade tools available for download from Microsoft here.

Would I use the Windows 8.1 Pro key that came with the original media kit? Or do I need to get a Windows 10 Pro key via some other process?
posted by a lungful of dragon at 2:55 PM on July 31, 2015


If it asks for a key, that means something went wrong. (I got a key prompt by forgetting to install the 8.1 Pro upgrade before using 10 Pro media.)
posted by reprise the theme song and roll the credits at 3:00 PM on July 31, 2015


A ten year old computer died a year ago last January, so I took the opportunity to get off of XP before support was closed out for it, and had Windows 7 set up on the new computer.

It seemed I ended up having to re-purchase or replace a fair bit of software — moving from 32bit to 64bit was part of that, I'm sure.

One of the issues was there was no Windows 7 driver for an Adaptec SCSI card I was using for an old HP scanner. Google-searching did turn up a hack that allowed the card to be used with an alternative driver.

How likely is it this would continue to work in Windows 10?

I expect it should be possible for a Windows 10 computer to network with Windows 7 computers; is this true?
posted by rochrobbb at 3:01 PM on July 31, 2015


I upgraded my laptop, which came with Windows 8. Two hours and it was running without a hitch. I fixed all the privacy settings, defaults, trimmed the Start menu all in about an hour. WMP even remembered all my bootleg concerts with proper artwork. iTunes would have rolled into a fetal position and shat in the direction of Cupertino. For me, 10 is a huge improvement. The biggest drawback for me is that it kills Windows Media Center. Oh well, I guess I can go back to using Plex or XBMC.

I'm not going to update our two Windows 7 desktops yet. Neither have gotten the go ahead for 10 yet and it's going to be a pretty klutzy transition. What I really fear is changing my wife's desktop. She is not tech savvy and hates tech changes. This is going to make her frustrated and furious, with plenty of angry summons for me to come to her home office and explain why something isn't working the way it used to. I am so dreading that.
posted by Ber at 3:07 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


simra:
Solitaire is still exactly the same as it was in Windows 8, except they added an ad-supported Challenge feature that no one is forcing you to play. You get a 30-second spot between challenges that you can pay to turn off. [My daughter loves it, in spite of the insipid and tasteless ads they're showing her.] Someone put it well on reddit: This is like a shop that gives away free stuff suddenly start selling other stuffs while still giving away old free stuffs and people are now gathering with pitchforks.
  1. Aren't opportunities to cry unto the heavens about the idiocy of your fellow commenters great?
  2. Why do you think Adblock is so popular? It's because after decades of being subjected to it on signs, in newspapers, on billboards, on notice boards, on radio, on television and on the web, people are hypersensitive to it. It's terribly intrusive. A friend (one of the smartest people I know, in fact) has gotten to the point where she actually rips the ad pages out of magazines she subscribes to. Even the appearance of advertising will set people off. It certainly will set me off, and I refuse to accept that's irrational of me. Spam alone has made people furious at even the thought of advertising.
  3. It's fucking solitaire! Anyone who knows how to install non-app software can get pysol and not worry about it. Problem is, a lot of people don't know how to do that, don't know pysol even exists. It's Microsoft outright trying to turn user ignorance into a source of income.
  4. And it's a fucking subscription! Not a one-time payment to get rid of ads forever, but you have to pay $10 yearly, a very large sum by app standards, to drop ads for something that has been free since the very early days of Windows. That's certainly not horrifying, but it is ridiculous.
  5. They could have just left the old solitaire programs in Windows unchanged, it's not like they require a ribbon or a ton of updating, but if they had done that they wouldn't have had as many purchases for their app. So, they ended a tradition that had survived since Windows 3.0.
posted by JHarris at 3:08 PM on July 31, 2015 [6 favorites]


I read that Automatic Update can't be turned off in Win 10. I don't really like that idea at all.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 3:15 PM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Whew! Now that I have that bile out of my system, this is from a page about features removed in Windows 10:

Windows 7 desktop gadgets will be removed as part of installing Windows 10.

I don't say this often, but: LOL. Microsoft is abandoning a feature that lets users put arbitrary-shaped skeumorphic widgets on their desktop? If that sounds familiar, it's because Microsoft abandoned something like this once before, when it was part of a feature called Active Desktop, where we were all supposed to turn our system desktops into web browser windows in an always-running Internet Explorer instance. Google abandoned something similar in Google Desktop.

Apple still does something like this on OSX as part of their Dashboard feature. Does anyone use that?
posted by JHarris at 3:20 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I read that Automatic Update can't be turned off in Win 10.

Pro users are allowed to "defer" those updates. I think people are upset about this because software companies sometimes conflate (at times accidentally, at times on purpose) new features with security updates.

I don't think many of us will be upset that vulnerabilities will be seamlessly closed automatically in the background. But Windows 10 is supposed to be rolling out new features using updates too. When Microsoft decides on their next big Metro-like idiot strategy that they're convinced is going to return them to the monopolistic glory days, we might not be allowed to refuse a ticket on their next rickety roller coaster.

Also, a couple of times now Windows has decided not to give me adequate advance warning that it's going to restart my system down for updates, which sucks greatly when you constantly have lots of programs open constantly 24 hours like I do....
posted by JHarris at 3:27 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


I expect it should be possible for a Windows 10 computer to network with Windows 7 computers; is this true?

Absolutely. My production machine is still Windows 7 (one does have to be much more careful but I can't wait to update it) and my "television" machine was Windows 7 updated to Windows 10. Shared network worked exactly the same except Windows 10 is a little more helpful in listing frequently visited spots on the internal network.
posted by juiceCake at 3:51 PM on July 31, 2015


I don't have the hate for Windows that most others do - I actually want to like it, as a general rule

Me too. And I'm probably going to go ahead and upgrade, with some significant tweaks to the privacy settings, from Windows 7, which I like, to 10 on my home PC. Which is now my sole remaining Windows/Microsoft device except at work, where I already default to my beloved Mac Pro instead of the office desktops as often as possible. But in between reading about Windows 10, I keep drifting over to reviews of the current iMac. I'm not sure how this happened, but over the past 5 years my world has gotten increasingly Apple oriented. Its just so much . . . easier that way.

So, I have a feeling this might be my last hurrah with Microsoft.
posted by bearwife at 4:00 PM on July 31, 2015


That ars page about doing a "clean" install is exactly the kind of thing that makes me roll my eyes when people complain about how hard Linux is to install.
posted by Poldo at 4:09 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Re: Solitaire, I wonder if they've kept enough of the lower-level APIs the same so that one could just copy over C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Solitaire\Solitaire.exe from a Win7 machine and run that on Windows 10. If there's one thing Microsoft has been good at it's backwards compatibility.

Re: Active Desktop, I remember the first time it turned my desktop background into an Internet Explorer error page. It was also the last time.
posted by benito.strauss at 4:11 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I don't think many of us will be upset that vulnerabilities will be seamlessly closed automatically in the background. But Windows 10 is supposed to be rolling out new features using updates too. When Microsoft decides on their next big Metro-like idiot strategy that they're convinced is going to return them to the monopolistic glory days, we might not be allowed to refuse a ticket on their next rickety roller coaster.

This is the real deal-breaker for me. Does anybody believe if they install non-Pro Windows 10 that they're not going to have a day or two in the next year when their computer suddenly can't do something it used to do because Microsoft decided to deploy some new "feature"?
posted by straight at 4:17 PM on July 31, 2015


Just install Debian folks, problems solved.
posted by jeffburdges at 4:17 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Re: Solitaire, I wonder if they've kept enough of the lower-level APIs the same so that one could just copy over C:\Program Files\Microsoft Games\Solitaire\Solitaire.exe from a Win7 machine and run that on Windows 10. If there's one thing Microsoft has been good at it's backwards compatibility.

You basically can, but you also need to copy cardgames.dll from system32, and patch the .exes for some reason. (I've used this patcher on multiple Windows 8 and 10 computers, and haven't had any issues with it.)
posted by Rangi at 4:20 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


I think this highlights how "My computer knows everything about me!" in a positive context means it's super-helpful

I feel like the science-fiction writers let me down on this one. There were lots of stories in the 80's and early '90s about computers or robots that would be personal assistants knowing everything about you and nigh-omnisciently helpful. And while there were plenty of stories in which the computers went rogue, I never saw anyone predicting how many of the devices we supposedly own would be created to preeminently serve the interests of the companies that made them rather than their supposed owners.
posted by straight at 4:25 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


Just install Debian folks, problems solved.

Nice deadpan delivery there; I almost didn't laugh!
posted by Greg_Ace at 4:31 PM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


"Windows 7 ate 9."
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 5:34 PM on July 31, 2015


My biggest annoyance about 10? UI inconsistency.

YES, this. Do you remember there was a time when Microsoft devoted actual effort in making sure everything in Windows was consistent and easy to pick up on?

Also mourned? Something forgotten called discoverability. If the only way to find the UI for some system setting is by entering text in a search bar then UR DOIN IT RONG.
posted by JHarris at 5:48 PM on July 31, 2015 [7 favorites]


This is the real deal-breaker for me. Does anybody believe if they install non-Pro Windows 10 that they're not going to have a day or two in the next year when their computer suddenly can't do something it used to do because Microsoft decided to deploy some new "feature"?

The problem is, as shown by oh I don't know, the past quarter of a century, is that the Dunning–Kruger effect in this case continually ruins some innocent person's day. And it's all very well to say "oops shit I didn't think that would effect me or that I'd be caught by it" but it happens to people every day. I got caught by Blaster despite being behind a firewall because I VPNed into a machine and got a live IP. I cleaned up my fair share of ILOVEYOU.VBS in college and I remember working at an ISP when the Srizbi botnet was taken down and you could literally see the amount of shit coming in on SMTP completely drop off.

If you want to be a moron who thinks you know best then pay the extra $100 for Pro and take your chances. Otherwise I'd say humanity as a species lost the privilege of no hassle declining of updates more than a decade ago when we collectively just didn't learn.
posted by Talez at 5:53 PM on July 31, 2015


Also mourned? Something forgotten called discoverability. If the only way to find the UI for some system setting is by entering text in a search bar then UR DOIN IT RONG.

I was looking for the anytime upgrade. I put "anytime upgrade" faithfully into the Cortona box just like I would on Windows 7, no bueno. Went to class control panel, searched for anytime upgrade again, no bueno. OK, fine. I'll fire up Metro settings, search for anytime upgrade. Finally! A hit! And I'm redirected to the store finally.

Why the hell can't Cortona and explorer see inside Metro apps? Because they use their own stupid shit that's segregated from the rest of the system? It's so utterly infuriating.
posted by Talez at 5:59 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


OH MY HEAVENS! THERE'S A VERSION OF STARTISBACK FOR WINDOWS 10! AND IT CAN MAKE THE TASKBAR ICONS THE WINDOWS 7/8 SIZE AGAIN!

Ahhhhhhh. All is well in the universe again. I don't think I even knew how much that was bothering me until it was fixed.
posted by selfnoise at 6:04 PM on July 31, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was looking for the anytime upgrade. I put "anytime upgrade" faithfully into the Cortona box just like I would on Windows 7, no bueno. Went to class control panel, searched for anytime upgrade again, no bueno. OK, fine. I'll fire up Metro settings, search for anytime upgrade. Finally! A hit! And I'm redirected to the store finally.

The Metro thing is such a flabbergasting disaster. They just made two of everything! There's a Metro screen resolution page and a "windows" screen resolution page! One is under "Control Panel" and one is under "Settings". WHAT THE FUCKING FUCK ARE YOU DOING MICROSOFT.
posted by selfnoise at 6:05 PM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


OK, I did some random seeming control panel changes that I found on Redit and finally convinced Windows 8 that it wanted to download the upgrade. We'll see how this goes.
posted by octothorpe at 7:15 PM on July 31, 2015


7 was really peak Windows, they had nowhere to go but down for Windows 8. 7 wasn't any kind of amazing revelation or anything like that but it was solid and relatively secure and had done a pretty great job of cleaning up the user interface from the mess that was Vista. They could have just cleaned up 7 a little more and fixed some of the standard annoyances but how do you market that? Instead they decided to go and bolt on the half-assed and inconsistent user interface garbage that is/was Metro in the pursuit of some sort of unified desktop, phone and tablet OS that was doomed from the start.

There's a reason that both Google and Apple have different interfaces for desktops and mobile devices, not sure why Microsoft thought that they were special.
posted by octothorpe at 7:59 PM on July 31, 2015 [3 favorites]


OK, so I deleted all the tiles from the start menu, and... The pane is still there. There are no tiles there, it's just a big gray thing next to the actual menu. I've seen screenshots showing that the pane disappears. What?
posted by dirigibleman at 8:27 PM on July 31, 2015


Windows 10.95
posted by honestcoyote at 9:06 PM on July 31, 2015 [9 favorites]


OK, so I deleted all the tiles from the start menu, and... The pane is still there. There are no tiles there, it's just a big gray thing next to the actual menu. I've seen screenshots showing that the pane disappears.

Hover your mouse over the right edge, it should switch to one of those `< -- >` cursors which signals resizing. You should be able to click-and-drag to shrink it on that side.
posted by CrystalDave at 9:18 PM on July 31, 2015 [4 favorites]


Nvm. It turns out you just resize the start menu like it's a window.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:18 PM on July 31, 2015


"640K should be enough for anybody. The rest belongs to us."
posted by carping demon at 9:25 PM on July 31, 2015


What I really fear is changing my wife's desktop. She is not tech savvy and hates tech changes. This is going to make her frustrated and furious, with plenty of angry summons for me to come to her home office and explain why something isn't working the way it used to. I am so dreading that.

Quoted for truth, man, quoted for truth!
posted by vac2003 at 10:17 PM on July 31, 2015 [1 favorite]


Is this something I need a major version numbered OS to understand?
posted by Mister Cheese at 10:42 PM on July 31, 2015


If you want to be a moron who thinks you know best then pay the extra $100 for Pro and take your chances. Otherwise I'd say humanity as a species lost the privilege of no hassle declining of updates more than a decade ago when we collectively just didn't learn.

I sure don't see why, just because some people ignorantly or foolishly failed to install security updates, I deserve to be subjected to having my computer's OS features and interface constantly shuffled around according to whatever harebrained money-making scheme Microsoft has latched onto this quarter.
posted by straight at 12:12 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I forced it on Day One so that I could support users to took the plunge and attempt to duplicate issues they report on Win10/Edge.

Personally, I think it's a Good Thing that MSFT is reducing their footprint, and their future plans of "Most Recent Version on Currently Supported O/S" is an idea that's long overdue.

And it almost-sorta looks like Gnome. And man, that upgrade thing made me appreciate Fed-Up. < /sarcasm>
posted by mikelieman at 1:10 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


The upgrade ran without any drama. It's pretty easy to opt out of all of the privacy stuff during the upgrade and so far everything works like it used to. I'm not really seeing a whole lot of things to get excited about but it seems to run quickly and I'm not seeing any major glitches. It it randomly decide to run audio through my monitor instead of the external speakers but other than that, things seem happy.

The multiple desktop thing is cool if you don't focus on the fact that they're twenty five years behind *nix platforms and thirty years behind Amiga.
posted by octothorpe at 5:18 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


> I read that Automatic Update can't be turned off in Win 10. I don't really like
> that idea at all.

Dealbreaker for me too, if true.


> If you want to be a moron who thinks you know best then pay the extra $100 for
> Pro and take your chances.

I don't have it turned off, quite. It's set to "don't download anything, just notify me when updates for Windows (only, no other MS shite like Office) are available." That gives me a little space to read up on the offered KB numbers and find out if one of them corrects a major security hole people all over the planet have been exploiting as a zero-day since Christmas (which I would certainly install), or conversely has turned out to be an utter disaster for any individual or corporation which foolishly installed it without checking it out first (which I would go BWAAAHAHAHA over.) That's how I learned beforehand not to install KB2990214 (pre-installs some 7-to-10 upgrade plumbing) and KB3035583 (puts the Win10 nagware button in your system tray.)

If Win 10 updates can't be set the same way then 10 interests me about as much as a low-rider Jeep.
posted by jfuller at 5:51 AM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


I haven't seen it mention yet, so I'll add to thread: in addition to Pro, Enterprise versions fo Windows also get the option to defer updates.
posted by JHarris at 5:53 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


that their much hyped "Cortana" search assistant (which is so obviously trading off of the Halo games but Microsoft has said not a word about a connection)

Maybe not officially, but I managed to get a leaked copy of the Cortana for Android that Microsoft is beta testing right now, and out of curiosity I opened the .apk file for it to examine the contents. One thing that immediately jumped out at me was the fact that some of the file names make reference to something called "HalseyService". Anyone with a familiarity to Halo lore will recognize that as a reference to Dr. Catherine Halsey, head of the Spartan-II project, and source of the neural mapping used to create Cortana.

On a related note, the development code name for their new Edge browser was "Spartan".
posted by radwolf76 at 6:15 AM on August 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


> Here's a quick rundown for those looking to fresh install Windows 10 with an 7 or 8(.1) key
>(Imgur, with possibly insightful comments - I haven't tried it myself).
> posted by filthy light thief at 1:43 PM on July 31 [3 favorites +] [!]

Where it says to ferret out and write down your product key, it's maybe worth noting that in more recent machines the product key may not be in the usual places where the usual suspect product kay snoopers like Magic Jelly Bean can find it, but rather actually written into the BIOS. If your newish machine didn't come with a product key sticker on it somewhere and the key also isn't in the registry either, you may have one like this. If so, and you're trying to, say, reinstall legitimate Win 8.1 from the (increasingly rare) original installation media, it won't even ask you to type in your activation key, it'll just retrieve it from your BIOS.

Snooper tools apparently have been keeping up. Here's an article with links to several utilities that purport to pull your true product key out of the BIOS. It mentions a more recent Nirsoft tool called FirmwareTableView that does this if ProduKey fails you.

(Note, none of these have been tested by me since I have no machines new enough to have this problem. YMMV.)
posted by jfuller at 8:13 AM on August 1, 2015


And why should Windows 10 be trusted that if one makes the settings they will stay set and the data won't be sent? Look at the various 'smart' TVs that send data back to the mothership - why should Microsoft be trusted?

(with all this data-crap being sent back to their makers - how many successful supeonas exist where the thief of the equipment has been caught due to the maker having the data after the theft?)
posted by rough ashlar at 9:21 AM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


The upgrader has been stuck at 32% for the last eight hours, after two attempts. I think I'm giving up on any hope of Microsoft making a working product under new management.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:28 AM on August 1, 2015


> ... but you also need to copy cardgames.dll from system32, and patch the .exes for some reason.

Hmm, I wonder what that patcher does? The only comment I saw that made sense is "enter the program into the registry", which I'm guessing makes it show up in the Games view. Mind you, I'm staying on Win7 'til I buy a new computer, but I'm always curious to see if/how internals change when they roll out a new major version.
posted by benito.strauss at 10:47 AM on August 1, 2015


So after a failed upgrade also failed to roll back, borking my 7 install, I found a USB stick and used the media creator to make boot media for 10. It worked on the third try. Attempting an upgrade from said media, the installer said it failed again, did not roll back, rebooted and finished the install, so now I have 10 on my dinky laptop.

It is not really any faster than 7 was. Not really worse, aside from making tasks like connecting to a VPN more difficult, but it isn't terrible. I'm still debating whether to attempt an uninstall or not.

Task Manager is somewhat improved relative to 7, but so far that is the only thing I can say is actually better. It's mostly just different in a not-quite-worse way. It does seem to peg one core and leave the other one unused, so that is different and worse. I do mostly like the not-so-new design language, though.

It definitely would have been easier to install Xubuntu. Wouldn't have taken so damn long, either.
posted by wierdo at 12:44 PM on August 1, 2015




Magic Jelly Bean silently installs opencandy adware. Strongly recommend a different tool these days.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 2:51 PM on August 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


> Magic Jelly Bean silently installs opencandy adware. Strongly recommend a different tool
> these days.

Thanks very much for the heads-up, Stav. There is a portable version of MJB which can't install anything you don't want because it needs and has no Windows installer. Just run Malwarebytes against the distribution .zip and it'll tell you where the opencandy stuff is, so you can just avoid copying any of that to wherever you keep your portable software. In fact, just open the archive within 7zip and extract only what you want. Which I dare say won't include the opencandy files.

I started using portable sortware wherever I possibly could when I went to Win 7, to keep the ever-growing, never-shrinking ~\winsxs\ directory structure as small as possible. Which it does very well. But in doing that habitually I also discovered other advantages to portable software, like this one.

This doesn't work in absolutely all cases. (There is no portable Photoshop, for instance, and beyond doubt never will be.) But there's an astonishing amount of stuff now that is portable. Starting with the Nirsoft and Sysinternals utilities, without which I feel helpness and nekkid as a new-laid egg.
posted by jfuller at 6:41 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


Am I the only one that enjoyed Windows 8? I have a 2-in-1, mainly use the touch screen to navigate (to the point that I try to touch non-touch computers all the time), and once you get used to it, it worked fine. The Windows 8 start screen had a tile that went to the desktop but I cannot find a replacement in Tablet Mode in Windows 10. I'm leaving Tablet Mode off for now because of that, but I did like the Metro start screen in 8.
posted by daninnj at 7:49 PM on August 1, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm with you, daninnj. I've had two faultless upgrades, one on an old laptop and one on my Surface Pro. The new UI seems better for desktop use but the elimination of many of the swipe commands has hurt the ease of use for touch. Having to swipe right and then poke at a X to close an app is nowhere as nice as swiping right and then down. And having to deal with the desktop-style explorer to access Onedrive files. Too many touch-friendly features have been replaced with having to try and tap tiny little things. And tablet mode doesn't help, it just changes the Start menu.
posted by charred husk at 9:20 PM on August 1, 2015


I've enjoyed Win8, but from the opposite side of daninnj and charred husk - on a non-touch laptop. I accomplished this by the simple expedient of installing the "Classic Shell" utility to get the Start menu back, thus never having to see that godawful Metro crap ever again. It now acts like Win7 (which to me is perfectly reasonable and fine), but has the more informational and useful Win8 Task Manager and more stable networking (and more successful troubleshooting/self-repair on the rarer occasions when networking does fail). The only negative thing I've noticed is that the "System" process sometimes has significant drive usage needs, pegging it at 100% for up to 5 minutes before it drops back down to normal, especially just after startup/reboot/reawakening. I haven't figured out why yet.

I'd been on the fence about upgrading to 10, but the comments above tell me that there's not much more There there than what I have now. Maybe - maybe - once SP1 comes out; we'll see...
posted by Greg_Ace at 11:32 AM on August 2, 2015


godawful Metro crap

Just to clarify, "godawful" on a non-touch device. The Metro interface might be just fine when using a touch screen, I don't have any experience there. But really, trying to force the hardware market by combining the two wasn't MS's best idea.
posted by Greg_Ace at 12:02 PM on August 2, 2015




I don't see where your link says that? It says that if you got a free copy of Windows 10 and upgrade certain components, you need to call customer support to reactivate your copy. It specifically says that this won't be necessary with a retail copy, ie if you actually bought it.
posted by Elementary Penguin at 3:22 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Yeah, this is no different than things have been back to Win 7 (if not earlier). Swapping out more than one or two significant pieces of hardware at a time can trigger a need for reactivation. I build my own PCs and am constantly upgrading stuff over time (motherboards included), and I've never triggered the need to reactivate.

Which is not to defend Microsoft overmuch, but it's not a new or particularly onerous thing.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:12 PM on August 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Oh your motherboard died? Well now you also have to buy a new copy of Windows 10.

Whenever I need to move Windows to a new computer—which includes modifying one computer enough that it becomes another one—I uninstall the product key, change the hardware, then reactivate Windows. Often I take the opportunity to do a clean install as well.
posted by Rangi at 5:37 PM on August 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


The one thing that's driving me crazy is that in 10 it's taking for-goddamned-ever for the OS to go into "sleep" mode when I shut the laptop. If you unplug before it's finished, it does something else, hibernate I guess, that means you have to push the power button and wait for an actual restart when you open it back up. Under 8.1. it was a fairly reasonable delay when sleeping, and more-or-less instant waking.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:15 PM on August 2, 2015


I like Win10 overall. I have these complaints though:
- Cortana only uses Bing in its web search, there is no option to change it. This is utterly a deal breaker, it makes using it for such search useless. I tried switching to Bing a few months ago and switched back, I can say they still have so far to go to match up with Google Search.
- Edge, while miles better than IE, still had its codebase as its foundation, and still isn't open source unlike literally every other major browser. Even Safari is built off of Webkit.
- This is one I'm fighting with as I speak: text entry on web forms that expect HTML code autocorrect even on desktop systems with full keyboard, turning <i> tags into <I> tags on the fly. Which, yes, will still work, but illustrates that we don't always want out browsers second-guessing what we type.
- The OS still has big problems with discoverability, and many functions are still only available through Control Panel, which continues to be hidden behind more and more layers of UI. And now that Metro (I'm still using that term thanx) "apps" (they should be programs or software goddammit, not apps, not even applications) look more like traditional Windows programs, the difference between the two doesn't even make much sense anymore except as part of Microsoft's continued doomed attempt to push into tablets, which is still going on, just not so overtly.
- Edge has some rendering bugs. One of Metafilter's own toolbars is invisible until moused over.

BTW, on the positive side... did you know that a version of Windows 10 runs on Raspberry Pi and even Arduino? It's using what Microsoft calls Window 10 IoT, or "Internet of Things." I mean these platforms are not going to run x86/x64 software, W10IoT is still closed source, and is trying to move into areas perhaps where they aren't particularly needed or wanted, but it's still cool to think of Windows running on these kinds of systems.
posted by JHarris at 9:43 AM on August 3, 2015 [3 favorites]


IVE BEEN TRYING TO UPGRADE TO WIN10 FOR THE PAST 3 DAYS BUT IT KEEPS CRASHING
WHY DO YOU KEEP DOWNLOADING THE SAME HUGE ASS DOWNLOAD YOU IDIOT
posted by Foci for Analysis at 10:12 AM on August 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


I've had Windows 10 running for a few days and it didn't even occur to me to try to use Cortina or Edge. I can't imagine ever wanting to use either of them so any issues in them won't bother me. As long as it runs Chrome, Photoshop, Lightroom, Steam, Google Drive and Vbox, I'm happy.
posted by octothorpe at 10:17 AM on August 3, 2015


Even Safari is built off of Webkit.

It would be weird if Safari didn't. Apple made Webkit.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:18 AM on August 3, 2015


Well they built it out of KHTML, but that's not relevant -- what is is that Webkit is open source. If Microsoft open-sourced Edge then that would be something they made too. Point is, Apple did it, Microsoft didn't.
posted by JHarris at 11:05 AM on August 3, 2015


> Nvm. It turns out you just resize the start menu like it's a window.

GAAAAH I've been trying to figure this out on and off for a few days now... I'm trying to justify it to myself by saying that there was absolutely nothing to indicate that it would work this way, and it's not like there was historical precedent.
posted by MysticMCJ at 4:08 PM on August 3, 2015


Ugh. I spent an hour and half trying to figure out why my computer was running so slowly. Finally figured out that the Malware Protection Scan was using 100% of the disk activity and wouldn't yield to any user process. That seems like a bug, especially since there doesn't seem to be anyway to tell that the can is running without examining the server processes in the task manager.
posted by octothorpe at 10:04 AM on August 5, 2015 [1 favorite]


This is the best, FUD-free explanation I've seen of what all the privacy settings actual do, and how and where to turn them on and off. [Gawker Media site, but whatever.]
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 4:27 PM on August 5, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well, Windows 10 came off my laptop last night. The sound card never worked right. And I think it's coming off my desktop today. I just now got a "Get Office 365" spam notification. I don't need that shit.
posted by dirigibleman at 12:16 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


dirigibleman, I just got that too. It turns out the notification comes from a "Get Office" app that gets installed by default with Windows 10. Find "Get Office" in the Start menu, right-click it, and uninstall that motherfucker.
posted by JHarris at 12:32 PM on August 7, 2015


Huh. I uninstalled it, but I got *another* message from it, and it turns out it was either still on my computer or was *back*. Uninstalled it again. So infuriating!
posted by JHarris at 5:20 PM on August 7, 2015


Well Windows 10 is the best thing ever for me now. Fallout New Vegas runs on my computer now and didn't when I was running 8 so I'm happy now.
posted by octothorpe at 8:31 PM on August 7, 2015 [1 favorite]


I am still using it and won't backtrack, but I would recommend based on my personal experience that people chill for a while and maybe see what everyone's saying in a few months. I haven't found anything really WRONG, but there is a startling lack of polish. Particularly in the "Modern" apps they shipped which all seem like something someone hacked together in a weekend.

All of the desktop Windows stuff seems to work as well as 8.1, and I like the better snap to fit functionality and the task view. There are some nice new touches in the settings, like the ability to see what's taking up HD space where without a third party app. I like the notification bar in terms of how it looks and in theory how it would work, but most apps are currently unaware of it and MS using it to send you ads for their software is sadly par for the course.

Jharris: I had that same issue and I right clicked on the notification and said "Disable notifications for this app." Will see if that works.
posted by selfnoise at 6:29 AM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


If Microsoft is going to spam your notifications within a week of release, they'll find other ways to do it later. Plus this opens up the floodgates for other companies to do the same.

I downgraded my desktop today, because of the spam issue and because Windows is ignoring my pleas to stop showing the goddamn news tiles in the search window. Now I get a totally black screen when I log into 8.1 (I'm apparently not alone). It's at this point I realize I do nothing in Windows anymore that I can't do in Linux. I am so filled with hate right now.
posted by dirigibleman at 9:46 AM on August 8, 2015 [1 favorite]


I HATE that "Get Office 365" message, but after removing the app a second time it hasn't reappeared. Maybe the first time I removed it it didn't "take" for some reason.

Windows 10 has treated me pretty well so far. I did discover, though, that you can't go by Microsoft Edge's memory usage in Task Manager. It's just as memory hungry as Firefox and Chrome, but most of its memory usage is separated out into a background process in Task Manager.

I hope going forward web browsers start noting which tabs are notoriously memory and/or processor hungry, because some websites are frankly getting out of control.
posted by JHarris at 5:26 PM on August 8, 2015


The thread is still open, so it seems a good place to post some of my experiences now that I've run Windows 10 for a while....
  • The Get Office blurb mentioned above I've not seen recur, but the fact that it happened in the first place is still infuriating.
  • Microsoft Edge seemed decent at first, but the more I use it, the more I notice its memory requirements are sometimes even worse than Firefox. I've seen individual pages in Task Manager use over 300MB, and more than one at a time. Further, when I ended task on one such page, the whole browser went down, making me wonder if Microsoft understands what the purpose of isolated page processes really is.
  • Even worse... the System process, the one that represents the kernel itself, can be memory hungry itself. Note, most of Window's memory usage in Task Manager in previous versions was split up between each subsection, but here a lot more is kept under the monolithic "System" entry, and once in a while its usage balloons up to 700MB or even more! And closing programs doesn't reduce it. I suspect there's a memory leak there.
  • Bluetooth is disabled on my laptop, which I didn't notice before because I seldom use it, but yeah, its button and enable switch are both grayed out despite the fact that the Bluetooth icon is still on the taskbar and the device is still visible in Device Manager and isn't marked as disabled.
  • On another laptop I've upgraded, the Intel mobile graphics chipset doesn't appear to have signed drivers. I was able to go find some old signed Windows 7 drivers that worked, but still, this is ridiculous. I think I blame Intel a bit more than Microsoft for this one though.
posted by JHarris at 1:04 PM on August 19, 2015


I'll followup, too, then. The interface continues to be a pain for a tablet. I got around some problems by learning the downward swipe for closing (which apparently always existed, duh.) By making the icons really big in explorer and turning on the dreaded "one-click to open" option I can make file navigation manageable, but I still need to click on a tiny little arrow to go back and other tiny little buttons to perform operations.

Edge is annoyingly worse than Modern IE11 for touch. No back/forward swipe controls. The touch keyboard regularly covers up whatever field you're trying to type in. It seems to regularly forget some of my settings like bookmarks and home page. Hell, at this point Chrome is a better touch-enabled browser than Edge.

There is no way in hell I'm putting this on anything smaller, like my Dell Venue 8. My Quasimodo fingers can't deal with it. So the little Windows 10 pop-up can go die.
posted by charred husk at 2:33 PM on August 19, 2015


Even worse... the System process, the one that represents the kernel itself, can be memory hungry itself. Note, most of Window's memory usage in Task Manager in previous versions was split up between each subsection, but here a lot more is kept under the monolithic "System" entry, and once in a while its usage balloons up to 700MB or even more! And closing programs doesn't reduce it. I suspect there's a memory leak there.

Lifehacker covered this today. Basically, Win 10 does not create a swap file on your HDD (or SSD). It "compresses" those bits of open, but unused apps and programs (hi ninety-jillion browser tabs!) and stuffs them into RAM, instead. You lose some CPU cycles as the OS compresses and uncompresses those bits of program, but this turns out to be less of a performance hit, overall, than the old swap file method.

Apple and Linux both use this trick now, too.
posted by notyou at 4:19 PM on August 19, 2015


I've had Windows 10 since the release but don't actually do much on my computers at home (one is for reading comics and the other is for lightroom) so haven't had too much opportunity to form many impressions of it.

Either I'm using it wrong or Windows 10 has made it really tough to get to the language bar. Under 8.1 it was in the taskbar and was pretty easy to switch, now I have to open up the virtual keyboard and then select the language from there. There may be a better way, but this was what I found after my wife informed me she couldn't access it since the upgrade.

Also, having gotten used to the gestures for closing windows, the fact that I couldn't do it in "desktop mode" had me wondering if they had gotten rid of them in Windows 10. Once I removed my keyboard and was placed in tablet mode I could use them and things kind of made sense, but I kind of feel like I should be in tablet mode all the time.

Searching in the Start Menu seems much slower than in 8.1.

One positive is that under 8.1 my computer had the habit of not remembering I have a MicroSD card inserted about half the time. Under 10 it hasn't forgotten yet.
posted by any portmanteau in a storm at 8:53 PM on August 20, 2015


Basically, Win 10 does not create a swap file on your HDD (or SSD).

I read this and immediately thought... well I didn't believe it. And reading the article confirms it does still use a page file, when necessary.

And the nature of compressing data is, not all data is compressible, no data is infinitely compressible, it'll take time to discover how compressible it is, and it'll have to be kept somewhere in memory in the meantime, and that means that RAM isn't being used for disk cache, which was the previous fate for idle RAM. I don't know if I trust this new system, and I certainly want to know more about it. I've heard too many times, effectively, "you should let Windows do what it does, it knows best." What works even 75% of the time doesn't 25% of it.
posted by JHarris at 1:32 AM on August 21, 2015


And wait a second... if that compressed memory is housed under System, why do all the other processes on the system still show as taking up memory? Are they removed from the list dynamically? I really want to know more about this now, it sounds, in its way, an awful lot like the old RAM Doubler stuff from over a decade ago.
posted by JHarris at 1:41 AM on August 21, 2015


I went on to read another Lifehacker article, one on why Chrome uses so much RAM, and started to feel my blood pressure rise. What a terrible article. I generally like Lifehacker, but this is not well explained. Saying Chrome uses more RAM basically because it needs it to make things more convenient for me generally makes me want to turn those features off, and when it says RAM unused is RAM wasted make me reflexively respond bullshit, because Windows uses that "unused" RAM to run a system disk cache, which speeds up everything a bit, not just a greedy web browser. God.
posted by JHarris at 1:45 AM on August 21, 2015


Ah! Discovered a post that explains how Windows 10's memory compression works.
posted by JHarris at 9:17 PM on August 21, 2015 [2 favorites]


FWIW - after trying to get my Win7 laptop upgraded for a week without luck, I discovered an interesting (and vital) bit of info. If you recently bought your computer and it came with Win7 installed and disks to upgrade to Win8 you don't actually have a valid Win7 license. The free upgrade will always fail. These installations were done under something called the "downgrade option" for OEMS. Once I broke out the disks and upgraded the machine to Win8, the Win10 free upgrade went off without a hitch.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 12:45 PM on August 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


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